Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Community Celebrates the Life of an Elder

The Ayuaal Community joyously celebrates the life of our beloved community elder, Uncle Dengdit de Lueth-Kethakoy who passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at around 5:00pm. Uncle William Deng Lueth, as he was often called, was born in 1906. His generation witnessed the historic war between Kongor and Ayuaal around 1918-1920. His generation, named Chol Ayuaal, symbolizes the need to fill the gaps that the losses of this war created.

Ayuaal Community elders testify that only two other individuals of that generation remain alive: Atem-Lonhdit de Adoor and Adoor Juach Loi. His age mates were Joh Deng Bior and Akoi-Lonhdit de Jurkuch. Deng Lueth was a husband of three wives: Ayak Marier, Akoi Yuang Bul and Kuei Akol Chol. He was blessed with ten children. Ajoh, Mayen, Makuol, and Adol with his first wife Ayak. Akuien and Agau with his second wife Akoi. Atong, Adit, Bol, and Khot with his third wife Kuei.

Over 800 community members came to celebrate his life and witness his funeral rights. Many stayed at his home for six days formulating ritual functions, singing ululation, and joyously dancing to congratulate him for his wonderful efforts on Earth and to say good by to him with thankful hearts. Many contributed to support the celebration. Jurkuch Barach Jurkuch offered funds and transportation in honor of the deceased. In all, community members donated cash, sorghum, oil, goats, bulls, and drinks.

In his 103 years, Deng Lueth never left home for refuge. He survived all the famines, wars, and tribal conflicts that have plagued the Ayuaal community. When disaster was at its most severe destroying Bor in 1992, Deng Lueth ventured only as far as Pajook—a neighboring village.

Deng Lueth was known for his excellent public speaking and critical thinking, his charismatic leadership, and quick response to any situation. He was known to be giving and valued peace and unity. He contributed a great deal to the community and was one of the founders of the Wangulei Court Centre in 1972. He also served as Assistant Commissioner of Kongor Division (now Twic East County) in 1989. He ruled as sub-chief of Acath Community and was promoted as an elder of the Ayuaal Community as a whole.

Deng Lueth will be remembered for his sweet tongue, invigorating words, and his love and brightness among others in the community. Before his death, he called a meeting to spread blessings to his family members and officially announce that his death was near. He declared his remaining first son, Makuol Deng Lueth, would continue his leadership.

Deng Lueth will always be a community role model, since he is alive in his words, vision, and deeds.


Abraham Deng Lueth said...

Dear members of Ayual Community,

The death of our father, Dengdit de Lueth is a great loss, not only, to the Ayual Community but to us all.

I was deeply saddened to hear about his death but could only find joy in the kind of life he lived before departure.

I know how difficult this must be for the members of the Ayual Community. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Dengdit de Lueth must have been a kind, gentle soul and he will be surely missed.

I encourage you to draw on your strength and the strength of your community and build on the the legacy of Dengdit:public speaking, critical thinking, charismatic leadership, quick response to situations,giving, peace making and unity building.

May God bless him, may God bless Ayual Community and may God bless South Sudan.

Abraham Deng Lueth, Abek Community.

Rev. Simon Yak Deng said...

June 2, 2009
Re: In Remembrance
Uncle Deng de Lueth
(1906 – 2009)

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Receive my sincere greetings in the Name of Christ our Lord.

Gracious life of our beloved Uncle Deng Lueth will teach us the message of concern for the people when God give you wisdom to lead even in situational and opinion leadership transition. His words and vision will never die though our present bodies are perishable and prone to decay. Book of life always reminds us that the tongue of the righteous is choice silver. This means words from a good person like Dengdit are valuable but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

If death ended it all, enjoying the moment would be all that matters. But Christians know that there is life beyond the grave and that our life on earth is only a preparation for our life that will never end. What you do today matters for eternity.

May God bless our community, our elders and our people.


Report recorded by_____________________
Rev. Simon Yak Deng
Secretary General for ACDA

Rev.Duot de Khueer Arok de Duot-Akech said...

Thanks Rev. Simon for your updating our community in the diapora for the death of our belove waadit William Deng. it is very very sad that our waadit died be for i see him again and share the word of Love with him.

i know he died knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as his personel saviour.
he was telling people that if we want to change to be wise is to believe Jesus and the community will change their bad character and build the new Sudan through the Lord. and that why people was saying he is pentecostal minded.

i love him may God rest him in peace! and let him go and tell our heros that we are still holding the visions of New Sudan (tiom warkuondit)
Thank you once again Abuna Simon
Rev.Duot de Khueer Arok de Duot-Akech

Bol Bul Bol said...

Dear all,

No doubt, Uncle Dengdit has been an icon in our community and those around us. May God rest his soul in peace. We lost a leader in which all walks of life come to him for advices and suggestions. It's a horrific moment for us (young generation).

To his family, children, grandchildren, and relatives may God comfort them and guide them through this moment of sorrow and grieve.


Bol Bul Bol

Mayen Garang Atem said...

It is emotionally devastating to learn about the death of Uncle Deng Lueth. I personally wish his family and the entire community courage at this sorrowfully time. As matter of fact, death is an unasked for phenomenon. However, Dengdit, as we know, has succeeded in life. He has lived his life as wanted by the community; therefore, I believe he left with joys and blessings.

Mayen Garang Atem

Dau Akoi Jurkuch said...

Thanks for informing the entire community of Ayual about the death of our uncle Deng Lueth who was only the older person remain from Chol generation of Ayual, and he died with the good vison, and good community participation, we have nothing to say about him ,but we ask our lord Jesus Christ to put his soul in enternal life. Once again thanks you for to let people know what happened to our uncle Deng-dit de the Lueth, and that spirit showing our unity, and our solidarity as a Wut community of Ayual people. Am still in Cameroon, remain two month from now, pass my greeting to everyone.


Dau Akoi Jurkuch[Jeres].

Dr. Dau said...

Dear all,

Deng Lueth will always remain an icon in our history as a people. His wisdom, wits, understanding and grace will always be remembered. He has left a rich legacy behind. The challenge for us is " what legacy will we leave behind?" Surely selfish bickering and bigotry in the community do not make great legacy!

Dr IM Dau

Atem Dhieu said...

Dear Ayual Community members,

The death of uncle Deng-dit de Kethakoy has come as a real puff and jolt to the entire community. There was more that Uncle could offer to the community, due to the fact that there are very few communities that have people over the age of 100 who are mentally active, from a chiefly clan that actively contribute to community aspects. This includes the wealth of experience and knowledge that he acquired. May his unique strengths and achievements remain as a legacy to be fulfilled by his family and the whole Ayual Community. We all respect and admire him He will be sadly missed. May our good God bless his soul and may he rest in peace.

My sincere condolences go to his family and friends. We all appreciate the fact that we will follow the same path at different times as planned by our creator. This is something none of us can avoid. Nothing more that I can say to assure full comfort to this family, but appreciate that we can all take the liberty to see that his legacy prevails by applying the knowledge and wisdom gained from him. We will in turn find answers to questions we are after by applying that advises. Wise people like him never waste time looking for words to say as they have the capability to critically think and these thoughts always act as stimulus to surrounding issues and problems. Believe that all of his descendants have inherited the same competent genes, character and talents which made him who he was.

My sincere thanks goes out to everyone who willing-heartedly offered materials, as well as spiritual and psychological support to the family during this time of sorrow.

Perfect and dedicated report Yak, although the news is devastating to Ayual Community in general.

Yours Sincerely,
Atem Dhieu, Queensland, Australia

Peter Magai Bul said...

Dear Community Members,

Words cannot alone express how well we can remember Uncle Deng de Lueth, but his legacy can be extended to generations if each of us can continue to implement what he always wanted us to do. More than 20 years ago when I was a little boy and had to often takes my father to some community gatherings at Wangulei or various Ayual’s villages, one of the advantages of me being presence at those gathering was listening to elders like him making decisions. His inspiring lessons, directions, and caring personality, was enough knowledge for me to remember him despite the fact that I have been away from home for decades.

Most recently during my return home, I had the honor and privilege of hearing Uncle Deng speaks at the 2nd Ayual Ayual Community Conference & Reunion of 2007. I could remember how he walked from his home to Pongborong in a very hot day of heat over 100 degrees, supporting himself with a walking stick in order to celebrated and shared his wealth of experience with everyone.

In fact, his presence at that meeting rescued us from the villagers who demanded the ACDA to relocate the established-Pongborong Primary School from Pongborong Center. Our community angrily young men and elders, who claimed it to be their historical cattle camp and wanted to move in with their cattle, couldn’t understand how importance the use of that ground for education instead of using it as a cattle camp. Uncle helped explained and silenced everyone for that debate.

I understand that we all must die once, but I had deeply felt the loss of uncle Deng because of the above reasons. Our visionary elder and respected leader exhibited enthusiasm and inspired us with love, care, excitement, and the hope for better life. His everlasting contribution, legacy, and vision could be only maintained and implemented well if we, as a community, can trust ourselves, respect one another, live in peace, and bridge the strife that divides us.

Now that Uncle Deng is not any more with us, we in the Ayual Community, must learn how to forgive one another, solve our own problems, care for others, and most importantly try to be an example of his legacy, unselfish love, and sharing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid to ask my US-based ACDA members for any contribution, but whatever tremendous gifts each of us can offers to the ACDA in Uncle Deng’s honor can last forever. I wouldn’t be shy to Join Jurkuch Barach Jurkuch and our people at home who offered funds, sorghum, oil, goats, bulls, drinks, and transportation toward the funeral service.

My donation of $100 to the ACDA’s “Uncle Deng Educational Fund” will mean a lot to students of Pongborong Primary School, who he stood up for them when some Ayual native demanded demolition of already built classrooms. Your words touched my heart, but I will appreciate any contribution toward “Uncle Deng Educational Fund”, especially from the US-based ACDA members. Please contact our ACDA financial Secretaries (Jacob Bol Bul and Abraham Chol Ghack) if you are in favor of this financial contribution to the ACDA. Or simply send your donation to:

Ayual Community Development Association
5703 Finbourough Court
Richmond, VA 23228

May Uncle Deng de Lueth’s family find peace and comfort as they grieved and mourned. May God bless you all!


Peter Magai Bul
President, ACDA, USA

Anonymous said...

To the entire Ayual,
A time has come where we need to reflect and commomorate what our iconic figures did at the past.This is a time that deserved everyone to review and analyse their work. They were very successfully and brilliant teams. Their vision were to make Ayual a better place to live. Now the questions will be, How will we keep their Legacy and their patriotism?
Late Dengdit was a good analyst, good thinker, a man of vision for Ayual.Let all put our hands together to calls our almighty to keep his soul in peace, lest we forget all our heros.
Chol Akoi Jurkuch,

Rev. Deng Arok Dut said...

Thank you brothers and sisters for our broken hearts due to the death of our uncle Deng De Lueth who have 103 years. So, let's pray for his soul to rest in peace till we meets him in Heaven. Thanks,

Rev. Deng Arok Dut/Dad and Madit Majok Tuil/Mzee Ten

Thuch Malual Deng said...

I don't know "uncle Deng Lueth" in person but have heard of people saying great things about him... what people don't seem to acknowledged here is that life do depreciates like a car. we are all going to die at some point when time comes... death is painful but to some degrees... at 60 years, one could have done a lot but at age 100, time for appreciation of that individual life and accomplishments. after learning of this news and read so many folks emails, long life for another person within our group hasn't been invoked! statistically, very few of the world population reached 100 years and "uncle Deng Lueth" was 103 years old. personally, i would be asking God to have another individual in our community like Dengdit live for that much time. in regard to condition our nation is, he was blessed. lets thanks God and asked for leaders like him because he did his part. God is omnipotent and therefore we shouldn't be dishonest with him i think... this is a comment; not a criticism everyone!

"One love, one people, one destiny"-Selassie,


Lual Jok Alaak said...

He will be remembered and God rests Uncle Dengdit' soul in peace.

Bol Garang Bol said...

Uncle Dengdit has done his part in community affairs, we shall not forgot him. May God Rest his soul!

Lual Reech said...

Congratulation Peter. we should never forget those who have done unforgetable things. i appreciated you. Our almighty God will take his soul.

Jok Garang Thuch said...

Thanks for having reminded me about, our late Historical visionary Uncle Dengdit de Lueth. In whom you are at present wholeheartedly in preparing to celebrate for his one week in Heaven. Though its quite sorrowful day for us here,in the western communities and also back home to the people living in the motherly land of our Ayual`s people .So therefore we are also quite happy to be already to acknowledge his one hundredth and three years (103) of his being fortunate to us, when he was at that time with his knowledged of telling us the past events for our community. That was to why we are very unfortunately to lose Him at this very time of drastically events, especially to us, we the living today youngest generation of the Ayual community. I am glad to wholeheartedly appreciating you, with the soundable moved of knowledge onto informing your members of Ayual community on the net. I am quite happy to say that may the Almighty God rest his soul with Him

Malual Manyok Deng Duot said...

Ayual wut should thank God for keeping Dengdit Leuth that long to played his role as a community leader. We can also thank God for taking him since he is going to report to deceased Ayualist.
My message to readers is that Ayual must be united by death, war and let us walk our way out of sectionalism for oneness.

Malual Manyok Deng Duot

Rev. Simon Yak said...

I appreciate your comments on the report recently sent about the death of our beloved elder Dengdit de Lueth, The last remaining Australian to serve in World War One has died at the age of 110, Veterans' Affairs Minister Alan Griffin said today.

John "Jack" Ross, who was also Australia's oldest man having turned 110 in March, died in his sleep early Wednesday morning at a nursing home in Bendigo in the state of Victoria.

Ross was 18 when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in January 1918 and trained at the wireless training school, but the war ended nine months later and before he could be posted overseas. He was discharged on Christmas Eve that year.

Like Dengdit de Lueth "Mr. Ross showed his willingness to serve Australia and her allies in what was an extremely tumultuous time in our history, and for that we are grateful for the life of Uncle.

Griffin said Ross was the last of 417,000 Australians who served in World War One and one of only a handful of remaining veterans from that war, in this context our father Deng Lueth was a remaining handful of Chol Ayuaal plus remaining two.

Ross served Australia again in World War Two as a member of the Volunteer Defense Corps. As a civilian, he worked for the Victorian railways before retiring in 1964, our father Deng Lueth worked for a reasonable unity, peace and transparence before he could be laid to rest.

"It now falls to Australians everywhere to ensure that veterans memory is kept alive. Australians must ensure that their contribution to Australia's wartime history is passed on to future generations, so that their sacrifice is never forgotten," likewise our Uncle’s live contribution must be kept alive so that we make use of his legacy as some of you put.

Thanks Peter Magai for your good heart gift on Deng Lueth memorial educational funds. I hope many people will try their best to support the life of his family for the community as well.


Rev. Simon Yak

Brandi Reissenweber said...

I’m so saddened to hear of Uncle Deng’s death. Like Peter Magai, I also had the honor of hearing him speak in 2007. He had such a humble and peaceful presence. He clearly loved Sudan and the Ayual Community. I will never forget a conversation I had with him about how he remained in his homeland during the most difficult years of the wars and conflicts. He spoke with such knowledge, and with animated gestures and a sense of humor. At one point, I looked up and noticed we were surrounded by a circle of thirty or forty others, eagerly listening and smiling as his stories unfolded. He remains a true inspiration.

Magai mentioned that his legacy will continue on for generations and I think that’s so important to remember. We can all carry within us his hope and efforts toward peace and unity. Sudan needs this. The entire world needs this.

Malek Giet said...

It's my plessure to witness 103 years old Uncle and its the record that some of us could not imagine specially with poor living. my prayer to the uncle Deng Lueth family and the community. may the soul a great leader be pass to the nexts generation, R.I.P uncle..

Malek Giet
Susquehanna University class of 09
Sigmund Weis School of Business

Gabriel Bul Kuany said...

Ayual community as a whole regret the death of our late former chief Dengdit De Lueth_kethakoy who have serves his beloved community for over one Hundred and five years tirelessly. Deng have been a fair leader whose services are still being told up to date.
We all regret his untimely death that would have been used to write stories by most of us and do hope some might have had few hours off duties and discuss with him issues pertaining Ayual as a community.

As my close neighbour, I knew him before I grew up and he had the care for all kids similarly to his own. This is what he has been portraying to the entire community when he was aging, he could talk to anybody in broader sense with community issues regardless of which sub-section you could be from.
Since Dengdit family is just like any other dinka home, we are happy he left behind two of his sons and his loving brother son Lueth-akim De Garang_heergak who can extend some of his uncompleted family projects.
This is a blessed family in our culture where a head of a family leaves for a journey that ones never return leaving behind a care taker like he has done.

As I have mention it above we are all hurt and in God we trust, we wholeheartedly believe Dengdit offspring’s are eligible to play a role their father have been carrying out more effectively than expected and would urge all the other close relatives to Pan De Lueth-kethakoy to be of support to them.

On behalf of other Ayual members who could be thinking towards my angle, I would request we all gather around his Grave yard in Piom-Beech during our end of year home visit this year in order to pay him the last respect as a whole community.
This is to me a sought of thanksgiving for the job well done by him when he was living among us.

May almighty God rest his soul in peace and bless his family by adding them knowledge to tackle the hard duties ahead of them in absence of Yaba Dengdit.
I love you so much uncle Dengdit May your will be done on earth by those who can deliver the services as you have been doing in God guidance.

Best Regards

Gabriel Bul Kuany De Pakou

Anonymous said...

The creature of the universt give life and ironically talk back.
God shall bless his soul.

Tony said...

Dear members of ayual community......
i don't know Dengdits picture but i heart great things about him and he was kindy elder i don't know whether he was a age mate with my dad. and would like to my sincerly condelances to his family members and friends
may his soul rest in peace

Anonymous said...

RIP Uncle Dengdit Lueth Please receive my sincere condolences. you were such a role model in our community and you will truelly be missed big time. though i never have chance to know you physically, you were an inspiration to us.i hope you are now in a better place

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Anonymous said...

The whole community is saddened by this death. However, those selfish ones who wrote selfish comments for selfexhaltation of Ayual only when the whole of Twic Community has had a great loss are the cause of disunity in Twic East County. Shame on you if you are one of those especially the one who said......."Historic War between kongor and Ayuaal....". Kongor is my maternal coummunity and they have been peaceful and try hard to unite the whole of Twic till self-made politicians and religious leaders distorted this unity!
Sorry to say that during mourning but I have to eradicate false beliefs that set us back!!!!

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Dinka Bor said...

His vision will never be forgotten. RIP uncle Dengdit de Lueth.